Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Count down!

I'm not usually a big fan of counting down the days until something happens. However, John Endrizzi's recent comment about short timers calendars in Vietnam made me think of some things someone sent me when I first got here: The Donut of Misery and the Penguin Timer. (Make sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them to see the details.) I guess it depends how happy you are to be here.

With 219 days left, I am not counting anything. Everything is too far away. At best, I'm counting the days until everyone leaves and winter starts so I can have a whole new experience. Unfortunately, the sooner that happens the sooner my friends leave.

The Penguin Timer.

The Donut of Misery.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kind of new mailing address

I have a new mailing address:
William Brotman, RPSC
Winter-Over McMurdo Station
PSC 469 Box 700
APO AP 96599-1035

The reason for the new address is that if you mark it WINTER OVER, then it gets priority. The last date that ANY mail will arrive is February 21st so if you want me to receive anything from you, box or envelope, then you need to probably send it from the US by February 1st. I've seen somethings get here in 10 days, but that is when everything runs smoothly. Often, they don't. Other things have taken six weeks to make it down. If for some reason, I don't get it in February, I'll get it in August.

In short, I won't be getting anything but electronic mail from late February though the end of August. Wow, we will actually be isolated except for the other 140 people I'll be living with. I think I only have 220 more days down here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More running!!!

Julie, Kate, and Meg get ready for the Scott Hut's race.

Two weekends ago, the base hosted our annual Scott Hut's race. It was a 5 mile race that was half up hill and half down. We'd run .7 miles down to the hut, then 1.8 miles up to the top of the hill on the way to Scott Base, then back down to the hut and finally back to the chapel. A while back someone asked me if I preferred to run to that height slowly over the 1.8 miles or quickly and steeply like the other side of the hill. After having run both, I'll take a long slow ascent to the top that we used for the race instead of a steep one that gets it over with quickly.

Our usual start and finish line at the Snow Chapel.

I'm in red and blue beside one of my fellow running partners, Dave.

I've only run a few races over 800m in my life. When I have, everyone gets sorted out after the first five minutes and I just maintain position. I pretty much don't pass or get passed too much, especially the passing other people part. This race was one of the first times that wasn't the case. I started out in 6th or 7th place and was able to pick everyone off except the eventual winner, Dave Z. It was a long haul to reel in the 2nd and 3rd place guys, but I did it. New feeling and very cool. I think they just ran out of steam. One guy said that he didn't realize that the hill went on for so far. I think he was new to base. Next time, he'll know better and I might not catch him.

Finishing second

Finishing second
1) Dave Z. 32.04
2) Brody 33:49
Women's winner Annie Farris 37:42

So if the race course was measured right, then I averaged under 7 minute miles. That is something I never would have thought I would have done. Yeah for me. However, not too many yeahs. I've been letting up on training quite a bit for the final month before the marathon which is my goal. I'm not sure how I'll do and I might go in under trained. We'll see. I'm really worried about getting sick because two of my roommates are currently quarantined with the flu so I'm doing even less than before so I don't stress my body or immune system. The cargo guys were telling me that is there is still 8 inches of loose snow on the road we are going to be running 16 miles on. That isn't going to be any fun at all after an hour or two.

Ultimate in the Antarctic

A few people don't understand how I've been able to play ultimate down here. It's been tough between low numbers, a bad time, and lack of space to play. However, we've made it work. We usually play 4v4 in the gymnasium and as many as possible outside, which so far has also been 4v4. The biggest problem is that the only time we could really get space is during brunch. Brunch is probably everyone's favorite meal of the week. They get to sleep in. They don't have to work. They can plan it with their friends. Overall, it ends up beating out ultimate a lot.

Indoor ultimate pictures:

I have no idea what is going, maybe a warm-up.

Off the wall is legal so if that knee keeps that disc from hitting the ground, it is a goal.

Members of the Antarctica Ultimate League . . .

Ok, we don't really have a league, but we do have a ton of experience. Elie from NASA played on the University of Maryland B team. Pepe played on Brown's B team. Terri founded the Ohio State women's team, Rob played intramurals and winter rec leagues, Steve is another Nasa guy who thinks we use snooty British rules, and I'm not sure who the last guy is, but he plays barefoot and that counts for something.

Outdoor ultimate.

Pepe can't quite jump high enough in the snow.

You can do all types of things that would normally hurt in the snow!

Pepe lays out for the goal.

Hard D!

Everyone. Pepe, Gretchen who plays pick up in Alaska, Elie, Rob, Terri, Anthony, me, and Steve.

Look at that stack . . . keep looking . . .

Big layout D!! Give this man a bracelet!

I figured the best way to give you an idea of what ultimate was down here was to show videos. It gives you a better idea how we can't move well in the snow and the overall game.